Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Local Emergency Planning Committee Chemical and Emergency Preparedness and Prevention

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Local Emergency Planning Committee Chemical and Emergency Preparedness and Prevention

Article excerpt

Course Summary

The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention course has recently been completed and is available for training committee members. The course is a revision of a prior seminar which was offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to emergency planners worldwide.

A working group was formed which included experts from throughout the Untied States to review and revise the curriculum into nine modules. The modular format was chosen to address concerns of training time available to LEPC members, knowledge level and ease of instruction. Each module is designed to be a "stand alone" segment running approximately one hour. This enables instructors to teach one or all of the modules based on time constraints or knowledge level of the committee.

Modules are also designed to use as a guide through the planning process. LEPC members who have a plan in place are encouraged to examine their plan as modules are completed to evaluate overall effectiveness and completeness. LEPC members who do not have a plan are encouraged to use the modules as guides to begin their process and to relate topics specifically to their community.

Some of the modules contain repetitive information. If all modules are taught, this information can be eliminated. Instructors are encouraged to tailor their presentations to the needs of the students and incorporate community-specific information wherever possible.

Instructors may need to research the structure of the State Emergency Response Commissions and LEPCs in the state that they are instructing. Information should be gathered about local and regional plans in place. Photographs and news articles about local accidents will also be very helpful in emphasizing the importance of preparedness, prevention and planning.

Following are brief summaries of each module.

Module 1: LEPC Statutes, Regulations and Safety

This module was designed to provide participants with a broad overview of the history of emergency planning and preparedness. Related environmental, safety and health laws are outlined and should be briefly covered. The student guide will serve as an in-depth reference for students to later examine. Roles and responsibilities of SERCs and LEPCs are defined and the safety continuum is introduced.

Module 2: Introduction to Chemical Emergency Preparedness

This module provides an overview of the planning process and is designed to help LEPC members begin "planning how to plan." It discusses key participants, resources, goals and basic project management. …

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